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The Education of Millionaires: It's Not What You Think and It's Not Too Late Hardcover – September 29, 2011
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"Success in the twenty-first century depends on street smarts, not book smarts. It has to do with your motivation, network, passion, and ability to make other believe in you. You'll learn stuff in college, but you won't develop these skills-which are requisite for success in life. Whether you go to college or not, The Education of Millionaires will help you learn what it takes to succeed in today's entrepreneurial economy." — Dale J. Stephens, founder of Uncollege.org
"Michael Ellsberg's book is provocative and wise. Tuition is skyrocketing, job prospects are grim, and the race for bogus credentials has turned into a runaway status competition for positional goods. The Education of Millionaires offers a renegade path for anyone who wants vital skills without the crushing burden of student debt." — Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, creator of the Thiel Fellowship
"Your success in a knowledge society depends on mastery of soft skills and practical intelligence-and yet they don't show up in college or high school curriculums. Ellsberg's rebellious book provides a street-smart education to fill the gap." — Keith Ferrazzi, author of #1 NY Times bestseller Who's Got Your Back
"As Michael so aptly explains in this delightful read: your education starts in the crib and ends when you take your final breath. In a fully realized life, it is all about lifelong learning." — Lynda Resnick, vice chairman of Roll International, Teleflora, and PomWonderful
"Self-education is the key to upgrading your mind and your life. Michael's book teaches you how to unlock the education available outside of classes, all around you." — Matt Mullenweg, creator of WordPress.org
"This book is a masterpiece. Gripping and whip-smart, The Education of Millionaires will forever revolutionize your thoughts on the connection between education, career success and prosperity. Ellsberg is careful to avoid 'motivational fluff' and instead provides mind-blowingly sharp (and humorous) brass-tacks advice on how to profit handsomely by becoming a lifelong learner." — Jenny Blake, author of Life After College
"If entrepreneurs were running schools, instead of bureaucrats, schools would be teaching a lot more of the skills and mindsets found in this book. Since they're not, this book is a necessary antidote to a traditional college education." — Scott Banister, founder of IronPort Systems, Banister Capital
"This is the must read of the next era of education. This one book could be all the education you ever need to massively outperform even the Ivy League. The secrets contained are brilliant and simple to adopt." — Cameron Herold, author of Double Double, former COO of 1-800-GOT- JUNK?
"Just like the entrepreneurs he highlights in his book, Ellsberg challenges the conventional wisdom of what it takes to make it in this world. If you have an idea and the drive, nothing can stop you. And Ellsberg proves it." — Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why
"You don't need a degree to live life on your own terms: you need economically valuable skills. Ellsberg's book is the blueprint for entrepreneurial education." — Josh Kaufman, author of The Personal MBA
"Provocative and timely, Ellsberg lays bare what he sees as a giant hole in much of traditional education-a focus on 'academic' knowledge and a de-emphasis on the knowledge and skills necessary to actually succeed in life. Drawing from a wealth of interviews with successful entrepreneurs, he hones in on seven key success skills that help put you back in the driver's seat." — Jonathan Fields, author of Uncertainty
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Top Customer Reviews
This guy came up with a great title, that's about it. The writing is juvenile and unpolished. There are some interesting anecdotes, but very little effort was made to tie them together to form a compelling narrative. In the end, this is a self promotion pamphlet of a narcissistic millennial with little actual content, perspective or real business experience outside of direct marketing. Instead of discussing actual skills and techniques that successful people use, he so much space in the book denigrating college degrees that I have to believe the book was sponsored by Peter Thiel and his anti-college crusade.
The publisher and editor should be embarrassed to associate themselves with this drivel. The author has 50 pages of content, and wastes the other 200+ pages rehashing of the same info, weird asides and links to the authors friends.
Please save yourself a few hours and a few bucks, buy a different book.
For the book, Ellsberg interviewed many college dropouts and entrepreneurs who are now making millions of dollars to discover the skills that made them successful.
He starts with the premise that although what we learn in college can be enlightening, it is mainly abstract and unusable. The "education of millionaires" is built around practical advice that will help you attain your goals and get you further in life.
I've gravitated towards the idea that the reason I don't enjoy many of my college courses is because the knowledge I've gained from these courses is, like Ellsberg says, not instantly usable.
I'm not the type of learner who can enjoy playing with imaginary ideas for 2 straight undergraduate years in the hopes my intuition will be trained to better deal with real-world business decisions. Maybe you aren't either.
That's why Ellsberg recommends "bootstrapping" your education. This is essentially the main point in his book.
WHAT IS BOOTSTRAPPING?
In simple terms, it means taking control of your education and choosing to learn the things that will make you more employable, more efficient, and more successful.
Traditional higher education is focused on your achievement in a 4-month course. Bootstrapped education is focused on your achievement in your life.
Traditional schooling is evaluated by people who have no stake, while bootstrapped education is evaluated by the real world and your successes and failures in dealing with people and companies.
That's what bootstrapping is all about and why it's so appealing to me: learning the skills that can help you NOW and not 4 years in the hopeful future.
THE 7 SKILLS FOR SUCCESS
Ellsberg breaks it down into 7 chapters and these are the lessons I have extracted from each chapter:
1. Get financially stable, then work on finding meaning in your work
2. Find a great mentor and build your network
3. Teach yourself marketing
4. Teach yourself sales
5. Invest in your self-education
6. Build your brand online
7. Adopt the entrepreneurial mindset over the employee mindset
I did find a lot of value out of knowing what skills are applicable to any industry and how you can go about teaching yourself. These skills are broad and applicable to all job-seekers and entrepreneurs.
Unfortunately, it does feel like Ellsberg is just plugging in a lot of his friends' products, but then again, I would do the same if I truly felt that a book or seminar would help someone. The book is centered around teaching people to become "bootstrappers" and find materials to learn by themselves, so it makes sense to offer recommendations.
If you've been unsatisfied with your education at any point in your life, that's okay. You can start bootstrapping at any time.
While a little too wordy and cross-promotional, The Education of Millionaires does provide a good basis to start learning how you can start learning the things that will help you achieve your goals.
I am a person who has purchased online training seminars/ courses for business & investing, reads a non-fiction business/ self-help book about every other month and has even shelled out over $7k/seminar for similar weekend seminars. I also hold a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in entrepreneurism & finance. I can honestly say that all of my success has come from me busting my ass & figuring out what people want & delivering on that (just like what Michael suggests in his book). Never really liking school and going to college to fulfill my father's desire to have a male member of our family graduate from higher education I can honestly say that what I have learned in my self education FAR exceeds my formal business classes and at a fraction of the total cost. But I knew that it would. My father is a very successful small business owner who dropped out of college and is far more successful in business & life than most of my colleagues parents who hold degrees. He always told me that continuos self education and refinement in all areas of your life was the key to being successful and happy.
My only major critique of the book (and of most business non-fiction books) is that it can be a little long winded at times. I found myself a few times thinking, "Skip to the end Michael, you've already made your point." But I would also say that for a few lessons, I needed that length for it to really sink in.
My apologies for such a long winded and personal review, but I think what Michael touches in on is a very sensitive subject that many of us hold very personal. People are going to either love it or hate it. Remember that when reading reviews & if you're skeptical, pick it up at your local library, but just remember... that's exactly the type of self educate Michael urges his readers to do.
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